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Nighttime foot traffic drops in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya amid omicron spread

Nighttime foot traffic declined at major train stations in entertainment districts across the country Friday following the government’s COVID-19 pre-emergency designation for Tokyo and elsewhere, a private survey showed Saturday.

On Friday, the government put Tokyo, Kanagawa, Aichi and 10 other prefectures in the pre-emergency stage due to the rapid spread of the omicron variant, with restaurants and bars there again asked to shorten their operating hours.

The levels of nighttime traffic were compared with those a week before, based on smartphone location information collected by Agoop Corp., a unit of SoftBank Corp.

According to the survey, the average pedestrian traffic dropped in 12 of the 15 surveyed locations in Tokyo between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.

In the capital, foot traffic sagged 27.6% at Shimbashi Station, 21.7% at Shinjuku Station, 13% at Shibuya Station and 11.9% at Ikebukuro Station.

Motomachi-Chukagai Station and Yokohama Station, both in Kanagawa Prefecture, as well as Sakae Station and Nagoya Station, both in Aichi Prefecture, logged declines of between 8.7% and 23.7%.

Elsewhere in the country, crowds shrank 11.4% at Susukino Station in Hokkaido and fell 11.3% at both Namba Station in Osaka and Tenjin Station in Fukuoka. The government plans to place Hokkaido, Osaka and Fukuoka in the pre-emergency stage soon.

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